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April 25, 2020 4 min read

Before you even get into your workout, no matter what level “mover” you are, it’s important that you sufficiently incorporate a workout, right at the beginning. 

 

Not only is warming up your muscles and joints important to slowly get them into momentum, activating muscles can help them be fully used during your workout, thus creating a perfect environment for strength and improvement. 

 

In this article, we’re going to go through a few more intricate details about how a proper warmup and muscle activation—especially when done through EMS—can help skyrocket your improvement.

 

First and foremost, we thought to start with the “how”. In better words, how can muscle activation be the root of building strength and improving your fitness as you work out?

 

The Underlying Sequence

The warmup of muscles and joints at the beginning of a workout can helpactivatethem for further use. 

 

When that activation begins, it triggers and then strengthens the bonds of the mind-muscle connection. 

 

So, no matter if you’re an elite athlete or if you’re just getting used to the movement of your body when doing exercise, it’s extremely important that you understand this connection. 

 

Fortunately, the goal of EMS and the goal of a warmup before you exercise align with one another. You need to warm up your muscles and joints, as well as activating the muscles—which can lead to the contraction of every muscle fiber in your muscle group. Firing up the finest details of the muscle can lead to maximum efficiency when performing movements, and that’s the most important goal in that regard. 

 

“But, you can easily activate those muscles in a normal workout.”

 

Well, yes, however, as the workout goes on, there’s a limitation that connects directly with how tired you become during the workout. As you tire, the muscle fibers eventually stop firing up as much or you compensate with the bigger muscle groups. 

 

However, with EMS, you’ll be able to not only contract muscles you couldn’t before due to the body’s poor ability to contract (in general), but also the ones that have gone dormant and are not often used once fatigue starts to set in. 

 

How Does It Work?

Warming up your muscles means that you’re heating up the muscle temperature. This increase in heat can help also promote blood flow throughout your body and throughout your muscles—which helps improve your exercise performance. 

 

That increase in blood flow also does wonders when it comes to reducing the risk of injuries to your muscles and to your tendons. Even though static stretching helps increase your range of motion and works on your flexibility before exercise, that extra activation (especially from something like EMS) can help even increase and improve the prevention. 

 

The Science to Back It Up

In a study done with 13 male collegiate athletes, researchers found that the warmup alone increased the athlete’s effective “exercise performance byaffording psychological stability, preparation, and confidence in exercise performance.”


Even though warming up has been placed into practice for quite a while through the history of athletics, the science behind it has been changing from year to year. Although the practice of warming up still exists, theway it’s done comes into question quite often. 


Fortunately, looking at these past studies can help scientists develop and evolve their methods to improve them for future athletes and athletics, in general. This might even snowball into meaning that the better ways we can find to warm our bodies up before exercise, the less likely we are to concede to an injury—meaning fewer injuries in the sports world! 


A Closer Look at the Warmup

Across the board, from sport to sport, country to country, and various competitive levels, warm-ups have been done to prepare the athlete physically and mentally for the training or competition. 


Nowadays, we have added on two more roles to the warmup—one being injury prevention and the other performance enhancement. 


It has been proven that the activation with the body’s muscles—especially when paired with EMS—can help reduce the risk of injury while in play (especially with the increase in blood flow) and also boost performance.


What Does a Warmup Do?

Even though warmups come in all kinds of types, lengths, and activities, their main benefits are generally the same—an increase in blood flow, a rise in core temperature, and heating of the muscles.


Taken from a study done by Ian Jeffreys BA(Hons), MSc, CSCS*D, ASCC, and NSCA-CPT*D, the Director of Athletics and Athletic Performance at Coleg Powys in Brecon, Wales, called"Warm up revisited – the ‘ramp’ method of optimising performance preparation”, we can see the specific benefits of the warmup. 

 

Since we want to get into the science of it all, more specifically—thewarmup can:


(From the study)

  • Faster muscle contraction and relaxation of both agonist and antagonist muscles (8).
  • Improvements in therate of force development (9).
  • Improvements in reaction time (9).
  • Improvements in muscle strength and power (10, 7).
  • Lowered viscous resistance in muscles (7)
  • Improved oxygen delivery due to the Bohr effect where higher temperatures facilitate oxygen release from hemoglobin and myoglobin (6)
  • Increased blood flow to active muscles (6)
  • Enhanced metabolic reactions (7)

So, where does EMS come in? 

 

You can use EMS, like the products we have at Gymtech,for potentiation and muscle activation before your workout—during your warmup. 

 

EMS is a great way to warm up your muscles before a regular workout at the gym. You can solicit muscle contraction without needing poly articular movements. For example, for the chest, you can use EMS to contract your muscles and get them activated without needing to perform chest flies or presses that would normally require involvement of your shoulders. 

 

Although you still need to warm your shoulders up, you can still really focus on activating the muscle you’re trying to work with EMS—without involving other muscles.


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